KDA Today

KDA Today

For Immediate Release

Date: Apr 24th, 2017
Contact: Dr. Bill Collins
Phone: 800-292-1855
Email: info@kyda.org

A Memorable Legislative Day

Fortunately, we have avoided a Snowmageddon (as Rick would say), this year. Spring is in the air in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. The Bradford Pear trees are in full bloom and the Weeping Willow is touting its strings of green. The beauty of Eastern Kentucky is on full display in the spring.

 I want to take this time to give credit and thank those who have worked to make my year successful as president. First, I want to thank Dr. Ansley Depp and Dr. Bill Lee, for they helped guide me on many decisions. They worked very hard to help resolve KDAIS issues, along with Dr. Matt Milliner, which will allow our association more latitude with new partners. I also want to thank Dr. Fred Howard for granting me his time and knowledge of organized dentistry; without his leadership and advice, this year would have been much more difficult.

I also want to thank those to whom I will refer as our Political Action Team. These individuals answered the call whenever summoned to represent organized dentistry and Kentucky dentists in the political arena. My sincerest thanks to Dr. Sharon Turner, Dr. Mike Johnson, Dr. David Narramore, Dr. Garth Bobrowski, Dr. Susie Riley, Mrs. Libby Milligan and our Executive Director, Rick Whitehouse. These individuals have found common ground and have proven to be a very effective team. I want all our members to know they have been well-represented in Frankfort when challenges and hurdles have arisen.

The Washington Leadership Conference is on the horizon and I am very excited to be attending, this year. H.R. 372, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017 is the bill which restores the application of federal antitrust laws to the business of health insurance to protect competition and consumers. Sarah Milligan, the ADA Director of Political Affairs stated…

H.R. 372 would amend the McCarran-Ferguson Act (passed into law in 1945) to authorize the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to enforce the full range of federal antitrust laws against health insurance companies engaged in anticompetitive conduct.  It would not interfere with the states’ ability to maintain and enforce their own insurance regulations, antitrust statutes, and consumer protection laws.  Because states vary in their enforcement efforts, the impact of repeal on health insurance companies would differ from state to state.  This is no different from the situation faced by other businesses.  Modern antitrust law is flexible enough to allow for a weighing of a business practice’s potential procompetitive benefits against any potential anticompetitive harms.  The bill is narrowly drawn to apply only to the business of health insurance, including dental insurance, and would not affect the business of life insurance, property or casualty insurance, or any other similar insurance areas.

 Passage of H.R. 372 would help interject more competition into the insurance marketplace by authorizing greater federal antitrust enforcement in instances where state regulators fail to act.  Promoting lower prices, greater consumer choice, and increased innovation through robust competition is the role of the antitrust laws.  When competition is not robust, consumers are more likely to face higher prices and less likely to benefit from innovation and variety in the marketplace…

This will be my second trip to the ADA Leadership Conference and I feel this will be a very important trip for our association. I am always excited when I get the chance to make a trip to our nation’s capital.

March 8th was our 2017 KDA Legislative Day. I think our member dentists numbered less than last year, but I also think our association pulled in more legislators. We need to give a hearty thanks to Janet, Melissa, Todd, Libby and Rick for working so diligently to make this event a success. I also give them a lot of credit for the excellent food - this ensures the attendance of our legislators.  I was very impressed with Senator Max Wise. He is a true friend of dentistry. Julie Raque Adams told a delightful story about Dr. Narramore performing mobile dentistry at the Republican National Convention, last year. Senator Adams encountered a dental emergency and our own Dr. Narramore saved the day in the lobby of the hotel. All in all, I would deem our third annual legislative day a tremendous success.

Frankfort has many new legislators, this year, and they are anxious to meet and work with us. I met Representative Angie Hatton, who took the place of Representative Leslie Combs. Rep. Combs will be greatly missed; she attended dental meetings and was always ready to help. I was very impressed with Rep. Hatton; she is from Letcher County and was willing to listen to the problems we are encountering.

I want to touch on one bill at this time, HB 333. This will affect all of us and I am confident this will be passed in some form. There are several bills dealing with opioids in both, the House and Senate.

HB 333 Criminalizes Fentanyl and Limits Prescriptions for Schedule II Drugs to Three Days

Amend KRS 218A.010 to define "fentanyl," "carfentanil," and "fentanyl derivatives"; amend KRS 218A.020 to expand the authority of the Office of Drug Control Policy to request the rescheduling of a substance; amend KRS 218A.050 to schedule fentanyl derivatives as Schedule I controlled substances; amend KRS 218A.1410 to include carfentanil, fentanyl, or fentanyl derivatives; amend KRS 218A.1412 to make trafficking in any amount of fentanyl, carfentanil, or fentanyl derivatives subject to elevated penalties; amend KRS 218A.142 to include carfentanil, fentanyl, or fentanyl derivatives; amend KRS 218A.205 to require state licensing boards to promulgate regulations limiting prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances for acute pain to a three-day supply, with certain exceptions; create a new section of KRS Chapter 218A to create a new offense of trafficking in a misrepresented controlled substance.

Status: In the Senate. On the agenda in Senate Judiciary on 3.8.17 at 8 am. Be sure to keep this bill on your radar screen.

I was very humbled as I was recognized on the Senate and House floor by Senator Ray Jones and Representative Angie Hatton. I want to thank McCarthy Strategic Solutions, Mrs. Libby Milligan and our Executive Director, Rick Whitehouse, for their guidance and participation. They made my Legislative Day a very memorable one.

Dr. Julie McKee, our state dental director, is currently working on a new state oral health plan. Please extend the hospitality of your societies to Dr. McKee as she seeks to develop new strategies in oral health. These are turbulent times with the future of the ACA in limbo and dentistry and vision being swept into a “my rewards” program. Dr. McKee is also working on a volunteer dentistry plan to help those who are uninsured. We have many members who are familiar with charitable dentistry, including Dr. Darren Greenwell and Dr. Randy Ransdell from the Louisville Dental Society, Dr. Greg Bentley and Dr. Chad Street from Kentucky Mountain, Dr. J.D Hill and Dr. Sharon Turner from Blue Grass and Dr. Steve Hieronymus from the South Central Society. There are many others who have a vast knowledge of charitable clinics. Please support Dr. McKee as she strives to make oral health a priority in Kentucky. Remember, Mark Twain once said, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

Night has, once again, fallen over the majestic mountains of Eastern Kentucky and it seems as if Old Man Winter is giving it one more shot on the eve of Daylight Saving Time. Until we meet again, I will leave you with this thought from Scott Stabile.  "Let them judge you. Let them misunderstand you. Let them gossip about you. Their opinions aren’t your problems. You stay kind, committed to love and free in your authenticity. No matter what they do or say, don’t you doubt your worth or the beauty of your truth. Just keep shining like you always do." Have a happy Easter!

Press Releases

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